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[xsl] After a refresher on C programming, I have a greater appreciation for XSLT


Subject: [xsl] After a refresher on C programming, I have a greater appreciation for XSLT
From: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:22:22 +0000

Hi Folks,

Lately I have been refreshing my memory on C programming (because a book that
I am reading gives its examples in C).

Reading the C book has given me a better appreciation for the advances that
have been made in modern programming languages. Here are a few things that
struck me as I read the C book:

- In C most things are treated as numbers. Characters are treated as numbers
(you can even perform arithmetic on characters). Logical values (true/false)
are treated as numbers.

- Memory management is of concern to a C programmer. C programmers need to
ensure that the code doesn't reference past the end of an array. A programmer
must ensure that performing arithmetic on a variable does not produce a value
that exceeds the allotted memory for the variable (thereby resulting in
"buffer overflow"). A programmer may call a function to find out the amount of
memory being used (sizeof) by an array or call a function to allocate a
certain quantity of memory (malloc).

- Pointers must be carefully managed and care must be taken when traversing
the pointers.

I am happy to be programming in XSLT. I am happy to be working at the
abstraction of symbols (strings, string manipulations, elements, attributes)
and not numbers. I am happy that the XSLT processor takes care of memory
management for me. I am happy to be working at the abstraction of tree
navigation (parent, ancestor, child, descendant, sibling traversals) and not
pointers.

/Roger


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